Monday, March 3, 2008

Blossom Into Womanhood With My Girl

“Have you had the unfortunate experience of recently losing a loved one.” If your answer is yes, then I send my condolences. However, for diehard fans of the movie My Girl, you’ll have a nice chuckle.

Back in 1991, I was nine years old, loved the TV show Blossom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and My Girl, starring Anna Chlumsky, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Macaulay Culkin.

It centers on the summer escapades of Vada Sultenfuss (Chlumsky), as she embarks on the road to womanhood. Set in 1972, Madison, Pennsylvania, My Girl uses the mixture of vintage cars, groovy clothes, 70’s hits, and witty dialogue to draw in the viewer.

When we first meet Vada, she is living in her father’s funeral parlor, faking her own death and charging neighborhood kids to see corpses. Within the first 10 minutes, Shelly (Curtis) applies for the make-up artist job and life begins to change.

The neglected Vada spends more time with Thomas J (Culkin) and singing to the picture of her teacher, Bill.

Her world is fragmented due to her mother’s death, her father’s creepy profession, grandmother’s increasing senility, and lack of female friends.

Vada’s perception of life is death. She fears loss and therefore chases it off by mocking it.

Although, her family situation is a bit nutty, Vada still manages to follow her heart and take an adult writing class taught by her crush, Bill.

During class, Vada’s world is widened with the marijuana, sex, and orgasm drenched poetry of her hippie classmate.

The reception of her first kiss nurtures her sensitivity and longing for emotional stability.

Her writing serves as an outlet for the expression of repressed memories of her death by childbirth mother.

While My Girl has a heart-wrenching twist of fate about ¾’s in, the ending leaves room for growth and resurrection, two topics that all women can relate to no matter their age.

As for me, I enjoy watching this film every few years to remember a simpler time in my life. The summer days filled with smelling the bay, channel surfing in pop-pop’s recliner, hanging with my cousins, and daydreaming. The hope of wearing a bra, kissing my crush, and getting my period still lie in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.